NOTE: The brief video clip below features one swear word. Viewer/listener discretion is advised.
It took an extra five minutes, thanks largely to a monster 14-point fourth quarter from recently signed guard Leandro Barbosa and some stagnant late-game offense that erased a seven-point New York Knicks lead in the fourth quarter, but the Knicks got just enough in overtime to vanquish a dead-tired Phoenix Suns team at the end of a five-game road trip and hold on for a 98-96 overtime win. While he ran cold late in the game, Carmelo Anthony still led the way for the Knicks with a game-high 29 points, 16 rebounds and four assists, earning him the honor of a post-game interview with MSG Network sideline reporter Tina Cervasio.
At the end of their chat, Cervasio mentioned the Knicks' quick turnaround in traveling overnight for a Tuesday road game against the Charlotte Bobcats. This information seemed to catch the newly minted Eastern Conference Player of the Week by surprise:
"Sh--" indeed, Mr. Anthony. "Sh--" indeed.
Now, you might think this was 'Melo making a little joke that just happened to fall within the range of Cervasio's microphone (and, by extension, the broadcast range of the Madison Square Garden public address system). As it turns out, though, Anthony genuinely might not be aware of the team's upcoming schedule. The Wall Street Journal's Chris Herring recalled this interaction from last week, before the Knicks were slated to take on the Miami Heat:
Melo, on whether this is a good time to play Miami: "That's who we play next? I didn't know." Honestly didn't know they were next up.
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) January 8, 2014
I think that goes a long way in showing that Melo truly doesnt look ahead in terms of NYKs schedule. Genuinely seems unaware of when gms are — Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) January 14, 2014
He might not be alone:
I mentioned Bargnani also didn't seem to know the Heat were next when that was the case last week
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) January 14, 2014
Y'know, you really can't say enough about the all-around awareness of the New York Knicks. Really on the ball, these guys are.
Perhaps, though — as WFUV Sports' Kenny Ducey suggests — this is a manifestation of Knicks head coach Mike Woodson making sure his charges are supremely focused on taking things one game at a time as they attempt to climb out of the hole they dug with such a dreadful start to the season. If so, it's hard to argue with the results — New York has now won five straight and six of its last seven to move into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference at 15-22. (The Brooklyn Nets also sit at 15-22, but New York gets the nod via a head-to-head victory last month.)
Granted, it ain't exactly a staggering achievement to crack the top eight in the worst conference anyone can remember, but it's sure better than more losses. And given how dismal things seemed back on Christmas Day, this recent uptick seems like something worth getting excited about, especially for longtime fans like comedy legend Larry David.
OK, fine. Maybe you're right. Get some rest tonight, Knicks players and fans. You've got Charlotte tomorrow. (Yes, seriously.)
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